Sunday, November 9, 2003, at the Black Cat Backstage, Washington, DC
Seven years after the happy, hooky Secaucus, New Jersey's Wrens migrate back from obscurity with their third effort, The Meadowlands. The long winter was tough: The band's old label, Grass Records, dropped it (perhaps to make room for Creed?), and the quartet has been recording and rerecording this album in a living-room studio since early 1999. The wait did provide time to reflectif mostly about the time gone by: "I'm nowhere near/What I dreamed I'd be/I can't believe/What life has done to me," goes the album's first track. But the Wrens have always managed a more substantive take on emo-pop than the typical hand-me-a-hankie variety, and ultimately, Meadowlands is a homecoming, not a pity party. The Wrens play with +/- (featuring ex-members of Versus) at 9 p.m. on the Black Cat's Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $7. (202) 667-7960. (Catherine P. Lewis)
.: Originally published: Washington City Paper City Lights Nov. 7-13, 2003.